Were you left out of a will but contributed to the testator’s Estate?
Were you not paid for your work which builds up the value of the Estate?
You may have a claim for what is called “unjust enrichment”.
Unjust enrichment is where someone else such as an Estate benefitted from your financial contributions or hard work but you were not remunerated sufficiently or at all for your efforts.
To successfully prove your claim for unjust enrichment, the claimant must satisfy the following legal test:
1. Did a person including an Estate receive a benefit?
2. Did the claimant suffer a loss corresponding to the benefit? and
3. There was no juristic reason for the benefit and the loss.
In terms of the third test, an example of a juristic reason for the corresponding enrichment and corresponding deprivation might be that the claimant was a volunteer.
In a recent case resolved by our firm, that was exactly the position taken by the Estate. However, in the end, that could not be proven by the Estate and our client was compensated fairly for the work and money he gave to the testator while he was alive. He was left of the testator’s will but we successfully claimed against the Estate and received fair compensation for our client who was found NOT to be a volunteer.
A claim for unjust enrichment must be brought promptly against an Estate otherwise the claim may be lost.